PROVO, Utah — Fifteen BYU track and field athletes will compete in 16 entries at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, June 6-9.
"This is the best meet of the year in terms of getting the best talent together to compete against," BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. "We have a nice mix of athletes who are competing at nationals for the first time or are returning with a little bit of experience. I think we have the athletes with the skillset to perform well and score."
All-Americans Connor McMillan, Rory Linkletter and Clayton Young will represent BYU in 10,000m final on Wednesday and the 5000m final on Friday. Linkletter won the 10,000m (29:14.29) at the NCAA West Prelims while McMillan took third (21:14.91) and Young placed ninth (29:16.08). Freshman Conner Mantz will join the trio to be the fourth Cougar to compete in the 10,000m final after finishing 11th (29:16.78). McMillan placed fifth (13:48.45) in the 5000m at regionals with Young finishing 10th (13:51.19) and Linkletter coming in 11th (13:51.28).
BYU track and field holds the NCAA record for the most entries in any single event at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with five decathletes in 1975. The four 10,000m qualifiers are tied for the most single-event entries since 1975 and will be the second time in NCAA history that a school has had four athletes competing in the men's 10,000m final (UTEP, 1981).
Matt Owens and Clayson Shumway head into the 3000m Steeplechase semifinal on Wednesday with the No. 2 (8:36.73) and No. 3 (8:36.76) ranked times in the nation, respectively, after taking second and third at regionals. The top five finishers in the two steeplechase heats along with the next best two finishers advance to the final on Friday.
All-American Whittni Orton ran a career-best 4:14.41 in the 1500m quarterfinal at the West Prelims and will kick things off for the BYU women’s team on Thursday in the 1500m semifinal. Alyssa Dalton will compete in the 100m hurdles semifinal after clocking a 13.27 in the 100m hurdles quarterfinal to advance.
Ashton Riner ranks as the sixth-best freshman javelin thrower in the nation, No. 20 overall (52.36m, 171' 9"), and will throw in the javelin final on Thursday. All-American Brenna Porter ranks No. 16 nationally ahead of Thursday’s 400m hurdles semifinal after running a career-best 57.18 at the NCAA West Prelims.
After the BYU women’s 4X400m relay team ran a season-best 3:36.82 at regionals to advance to nationals, the relay team will compete in the 4X400m semifinal Thursday night. The relay team consists of Porter, Lauren Rawlinson, Cassidy Pinnock and Ellie Heiden-Quackenbush with Anna Camp and Avery Walker listed as alternates depending on Porter's performance in the 400m hurdles.
All-American Kevin Nielsen earned a career-high 7475 points at the Robison Invitational to secure a spot in the decathlon at the NCAA Championships. The decathlon starts Wednesday with the 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, and 400m, and will conclude on Thursday with the 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1500m.
All-American Andrea Stapleton-Johnson will compete in the high jump final on Saturday. Her career-best clearance of 1.85m (6' 0.75") gives her the seventh-best mark in the NCAA this outdoor season. Saturday will also include the women’s 1500m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles or 4X400m finals for any BYU athletes that advance from Thursday's semifinals.
Competition begins Wednesday, June 6 at 12:30 p.m. (PDT) at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field and will conclude on Saturday, June 9. Below is a table listing BYU athletes and their specific event details. The full meet schedule, along with ESPN broadcasting details, can be found on NCAA.com and live stats can be found here. Follow BYU track and field's Twitter @BYUTFXC for live updates.
Wednesday, June 6
|12:30 p.m. (PDT)||Kevin Nielsen||Men's 100m (Decathlon)||ESPN3|
|1:10 p.m.||Kevin Nielsen||Men's Long Jump (Decathlon)||ESPN3|
|2:25 p.m.||Kevin Nielsen||Men's Shot Put (Decathlon)||ESPN3|
|3:40 p.m.||Kevin Nielsen||Men's High Jump (Decathlon)||ESPN3|
|Men's 3000m Steeplechase (Semifinal)||ESPN2|
|6:56 p.m.||Kevin Nielsen||Men's 400m (Decathlon)||ESPN2|
|7:08 p.m.||Rory Linkletter|
|Men's 10,000m (Final)||ESPN2|
Thursday, June 7
|10:00 a.m.||Kevin Nielsen||Men's 110m Hurdles (Decathlon)||ESPN3|
|10:50 a.m.||Kevin Nielsen||Men's Discus Throw (Decathlon)||ESPN3|
|12:00 p.m.||Kevin Nielsen||Men's Pole Vault (Decathlon)||ESPN3|
|2:30 p.m.||Kevin Nielsen||Men's Javelin Throw (Decathlon)||ESPN3|
|4:16 p.m.||Whittni Orton||Women's 1500m (Semifinal)||ESPN2|
|Women's 100m Hurdles (Semifinal)||ESPN2|
|5:15 p.m.||Ashton Riner||Women's Javelin Throw (Final)||ESPN3|
|Women's 400m Hurdles (Semifinal)||ESPN2|
|6:26 p.m.||Kevin Neilsen||Men's 1500m (Decathlon)||ESPN2|
|7:18 p.m.||Ellie Heiden-Quackenbush|
|Women's 4X400m Relay (Semifinal)||ESPN2|
Friday, June 8
|5:54 p.m.||Matt Owens*|
|Men's 3000m Steeplechase (Final)||ESPN|
|7:25 p.m.||Rory Linkletter|
|Men's 5000m (Final)||ESPN|
Saturday, June 9
|3:00 p.m.||Andrea Stapleton-Johnson||Women's High Jump (Final)||ESPN3|
|Women's 1500m (Final)||ESPN|
|4:15 p.m.||Alyssa Dalton*||Women's 100m Hurdles (Final)||ESPN|
|4:57 p.m.||Brenna Porter*||Women's 400m Hurdles (Final)||ESPN|
|5:51 p.m.||Ellie Heiden-Quackenbush*|
|Women's 4x400m Relay (Final)||ESPN|
* -- If qualified